General Question

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

What are the benefits of a netbook vs. a laptop?

Asked by jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities (19682points) June 1st, 2009

I travel a lot in the summer and am thinking about getting a computer. I’ve heard a little about netbooks, and was curious about what they can do as compared with a laptop. Any specific brand I should look into? Any specific specs?

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11 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

Size and portability for the netbook, more power for the laptop. I use a netbook for tethered shooting out of the studio. It is about the power of an old Pentium II Notebook, pretty slow but quite adequate for its designated purpose – net access.

DeanV's avatar

Netbooks are for the type of people that maybe already have a laptop, and want an ultra portable computer for traveling, or for just checking email every once and a while.

I like to think of them more as a compliment to a regular laptop, or as a computer for either first time users, or somebody that doesn’t spend much time on the computer and would like it for checking email, etc.

Netbooks would never work for a full time student or businessman, but they are a good, inexpensive, and portable personal computer. If you do anything of that sort, or are a bit of a “power user”, you would want to go with a laptop.

MrGV's avatar

1. Light and compact
2. Battery life is pretty long
3. It’s weaker than a laptop
4. Not good to play most games
5. Lags when doing multitask
6. Lack of CD drive.(on most models)

LC_Beta's avatar

They are tiny and portable, but they aren’t suitable to use as your main computer unless ALL you want to do is a little web browsing and writing.

The keyboard is tiny and might give you trouble at first, but it’s something you can get used to.

My partner’s netbook has fallen apart rather quickly. I’m waiting for the technology to improve a bit before I get one myself.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@LC_Beta Yeah I’d probably only use it for web access when I’m on the road. Out of curiosity, what brand did your partner have?

Dorkgirl's avatar

I have an Acer Aspire One that I use when traveling for webbrowsing, Word, Excel, music and movies. I’ve taken it internationally, too and it worked great.
It’s only about a pound and a half, so I love the light weight.
It’s true that it does not have a ton of computing power, but it’s dandy for light work.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I have an Asustek Eee 1000H (an earlier one, with the 80GB HDD). It is slow, and not suitable for any intensive use, but it is perfect for my needs. It weighs a lot less than standard laptops, have twice the battery life of the laptops the rest of my family use, and still has exactly the same functionality as any other computer running XP. I also have a desktop computer that I use for TV, movies, music manipulation and other hardware intensive things.

I use it for typing lecture notes in class, internet access when it is not convenient to be confined to one place at home, and working on assignments.

The lack of an optical drive is not a problem, because I use disc image programs like PowerISO to create an image of the CD/DVD file, and then transfer it by USB drive and emulate it on the laptop.

If you have an adequate desktop to complement your mini-laptop, there is really no need for a full sized laptop.

Fred931's avatar

simple | full-strength
Portable | not as much
Cheap | expensiver
Mild perform. | d-top ability
Emails | portable gaming
Businessman. |. Regular person

LC_Beta's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities – it’s an acer aspire one

iquanyin's avatar

all the answers here nailed it. in fact, the first one nailed it. i’d like to add that i believe computing will truly move more and more onto the cloud, so that unless you have a work (or very specialized) requirement, at some point over the next few years a netbook may be all most ppl need. that said, i’m waiting for my macbook to arrive today, chosen over my project of getting a dell mini 9 and making it a hackintosh. i adore small, light equipment and believe it or not, was favoring the mini…until it was pointed out that you can’t (yet?) make iphone apps on a mini 9. sigh. and that’s my other goal for this year: to make a couple of apps that i doubt will manifest otherwise. my main goal—photography—i find is easily doable with minimum cpu power, simply because there are recently some pretty amazing online photo apps (sumo paint, for one) and many, many storage options. i recently read about how, using several sites like zoho, box net, etc, you can get about 80 gigs of free storage for whatever. many of these work fine for filesharing too.

iquanyin's avatar

sorry—meant to address brands. the most well regarded are dell mini 9 and 10, msi wind, lenovo (uh, forgot name!), and if money’s no object, sony viao has a simply awesome unit out recently. really, there are so many out these days, but personally i was drawn to the dell mini because it’s under $300 and can be converted to a mac. (same with the wind but its price has gone up, i believe). tho not a netbook per se, and expensive, i’m presonally quite smitten by the macbook air…

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